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Google Your Rights Online

Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the show-us-what-your-bought dept.
cold fjord writes "Business Insider reports, Google is beta-testing a program that tracks users' purchasing habits by registering brick-and-mortar store visits via smartphones, according to a report from Digiday. Google can access user data via Android apps or their Apple iOS apps, like Google search, Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps. If a customer is using these apps while he shops or has them still running in the background, Google's new program pinpoints the origin of the user data and determines if the customer is in a place of business."
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Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

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  • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Friday November 08, 2013 @12:40AM (#45365263)
    Nope, only the credit card companies do that...

    Why do you think the big push was made to give everyone a VISA or MC debit card? It provides the banks with an incredible amount of information about you that they can then sell.

    Given that my debt cards pay me rewards and I pay them nothing, frankly I don't mind, it isn't like my trips to Walmart are secret or anything.

    Another reason why Google should want their Wallet to become used everywhere. Imagine the treasure trove of information if they don't even have to get into the V/MC business, yet can see "everything" you buy because you use your phone as a wallet.

    Frankly, for them to have that much information about me, I'd like the phone for free. :)

  • Dear Slashdot... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 08, 2013 @12:44AM (#45365283)

    Do you still think Google is trying to stop the NSA from spying on you, when they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use.

    When will we stop saying who can and cannot spy on us and steal our personal information, and start saying that the answer is nobody. Whether you're the NSA, or you're Google, you are evil. The end.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2013 @12:54AM (#45365323)

    Its nice how people sell privacy for a phone.

    Kinda like how there is a quote on bash.org about how people were asked if they would give up their voting right for an ipod, and the best thing to do would be give those that say yes an ipod.

    Before you say voting right and privacy are something totally different, they are pretty closely related. Given the number of laws, everybody breaks one, if not more. If you have no privacy, all those things can be known. Maybe you broke the speed limit one moment, your phone could record that, without privacy, the state can use that recorded data and prosecute you.
    Remember how you can also lose voting rights after having been convicted of a felony. So no privacy means politicians can take away the voting rights of whoever they chose, based on that everybody but the very careful people break laws (for example laceys act says you can't break the law of any country, ensure you break no muslim laws).

    But its just a purchase in walmart...
    And tomorrow its just your rape fantasies that somehow get you convicted. Rights are something you fight for every day, not just once and be done with it.

  • by vidnet (580068) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:06AM (#45365377) Homepage

    You:

    they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use

    The article:

    Google gets permission to do this kind of tracking when Android users opt in

    Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

  • by faedle (114018) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:09AM (#45365383) Homepage Journal

    Funny, I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

    This just in: Water is wet, dogs sometimes bite, and Comcast customer service sucks.

  • Re:why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by faedle (114018) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:11AM (#45365389) Homepage Journal

    That's the glory of what they're doing. They CAN make money off of you knowing that you bought work clothes at Goodwill and a sandwich at Char-hut. If you can't figure out how, you don't completely understand what they're actually doing.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:17AM (#45365413)

    Or you can not use any Google products. Gmail, google maps, search etc are free so that they can advertise to you and collect data on you.

    Funny story. In the early 90s a new network started being used regularily by hundreds of colleges, science labs, and educational facilities. It had been built up for military purposes as an experiment, but after building a new one, the military turned it over to the academic community. It was a global network, massively redundant, and was initially used to exchange files and e-mail. Researchers quickly developed some simple protocols to allow anyone on the network to exchange information freely with anyone else on the network. A need arose to catalog and organize the rapidly increasing number of nodes on this network, and the information just started pouring in. That network... was called the internet.

    It's original inventors hoped that this free and equal peer-based network they had built would be used to share human knowledge across cultures around the world, bringing together millions, and now billions, of people together. They never asked for money. They didn't believe in advertising revenue to support it... the people who built and maintained the network did so not out of greed, or desire for wealth, but because they genuinely believed in one of the foundational principles of science:

    Knowledge should be free.

    I know today it's just a historical footnote, that greed and the desire for wealth has created not one, but seven of the largest companies on the planet, whose sole business plans are to exploit the free exchange of information by putting up artificial barriers and charging for access to things, while spying on us and abusing the data flow... and that today, we just accept this.

    But those of us that built the network remember there are other motivations than greed... some of us still build things for others, because we want them to be free. Because we want them to have knowledge, and information -- because we understood, instinctively, that the biggest advances of the 21st century wasn't going to be in science or technology, but in an expanding concept of what it means to be human. We couldn't put it into those words, not then, but we knew it would be important that this resource remain free and open to all -- that the fastest route to human growth, worldwide, everyone, everywhere, would mean making sure knowledge was equally available. Because knowledge is power... and we knew, from tens of thousands of years of human history, that when you try to hold onto knowledge, to power, it corrupts you. It destroys you. It sucks your soul right out and pours in a neverending need for more... more what? More everything.

    And so those of us who were around back then recognize Google, and the NSA, and all these other organizations and governments for what they are: An unnatural restriction on the potential of the human race. They're strangling us with their greed. They're creating the next Dark Age... because the power imbalance between the information-rich and the information-poor is growing, exponentially. And Google is one of the central players.

    Google... is evil.

  • by pitchpipe (708843) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:18AM (#45365423)

    Or you can not use any Google products. Gmail, google maps, search etc are free so that they can advertise to you and collect data on you.

    I keep hearing this over and over again but you know what? Every fucking website that I go on has some tracker from Google on it, not to mention the shit I can't see tracking me. So tell me again how I'm not supposed to have them tracking me: don't use the internet? Go fuck yourself

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:42AM (#45365519)

    No, it's not a footnote - it's a fairy tale. (Well, I guess legends and other fiction could appear in a footnote...)

    "In the earliest days, this was a project I worked on with great passion because I wanted to solve the Defense Department's problem: it did not want proprietary networking and it didn't want to be confined to a single network technology."
    -- Vinton Cerf

    "It's difficult to imagine the power that you're going to have when so many different sorts of data are available."
    -- Tim Berners-Lee

    "My goal wasn't to make a ton of money. It was to build good computers."
    -- Steve Wozniak

    "Artists usually don't make all that much money, and they often keep their artistic hobby despite the money rather than due to it."
    -- Linus Torvalds

    Shall I continue, or is it sufficiently obvious how wrong you are?

  • by feral-troll (3419661) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:11AM (#45366307)

    Funny, I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

    This just in: Water is wet, dogs sometimes bite, and Comcast customer service sucks.

    Funny, when I tell the average consumer that when they use Google Maps it streams information about their movements back to Google who archives that data and sells it, most of them are surprised. When you tell them that Google, Facebook, et al. track their browsing habits even when they are not logged in to those services... same reaction. You may be perfectly aware of the parasitic relationship you are getting into with Google but the average consumer is not, hence the outrage over the NSA surveillance. When the shitstorm over that dies down the media might just turn the spotlight on Google, Facebook et al. and people will be just as creeped out.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas

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